Early Riser by Jasper Fforde
Hachette Australia, 2018. ISBN: 9781444763591. paperback, 400pgs.
(Age: 13+) Weirdness at its max but that's Jasper Fforde's quirkiness and inventive style. Early Riser is Fforde's latest standalone novel since Shades of Grey. I sure wanted to put another jumper on while reading because it's the beginning of winter and I could feel the coldness leaking through the pages of the novel. I'm so glad that it's not as cold as the alternative winter months in Wales described in this book. Imagine a world that is so harsh that we have to hibernate through winter while only a few stay awake to take care of the sleepers. Oh and imagine how much you have to eat to fatten yourself to be the right size to survive the sleep. I found it amazing that the opposite of the way we think today is beautiful . . . meaning the fatter you are the healthier you were because you would survive the winter sleep.
I didn't mind the main character Charlie Worthing, I did find that he was easily misled by people he met along the way but hey, that's part of the story. Charlie was a new recruit for the Winter Consul and the novel is him experiencing his first season and adventure as one. And what a journey did he take having to deal with cannibalistic Nightwalkers, the Winter Volk, Hibertech Corporation, Womads and undesirables he meets along the way, while also experiencing dreaming for the first time.
If you like genre benders of sci-fi, fantasy, dreamscape, dystopian and mystery this is the book for you.